I wrote yesterday about a blog dedicated to disseminating truth and exposing falsehood when it comes to migraine disease. Today I want to list a few of the significant falsehoods that are circulating about migraine. After each one I will explain the truth.
Falsehood #1 There is a cure for migraine.
Many unscrupulous people claim that they have found the cure for migraine. Do not beleive it, no matter how much you wish it were true. Medical science is working on developing better and better treatments, but there is no cure. Scientists do not even understand the mechanism of migraines completely. It has something to do with the blood vessels in the head and with brain chemistry.
People will try to sell you vitamin pills, herbs, or a book that outlines their treatment plan. Some claim that they can cure you at their clinic. These people cause harm, because they take your money and leave you no better off than you were before.
It is true that some vitamins and some herbs are thought to be helpful, but you do not have to buy a certain brand from a certain company. If you want to try one of those treatments, just buy them at a health food store, pharmacy, or even at a department store. You’ll save money that way and you will not be supporting deceitful people.
And see a doctor.
Falsehood #2 You just have to suffer through a migraine attack.
I have run into people in cyberspace and in person who do not realize that there are treaments available for migraine. Some have suffered for years, taking over-the-counter pain medicines that do not usually have much effect on migraine.
There are drugs to prevent attacks that can be taken on a regular basis. There are also drugs to abort an attack in progress. If one drug doesn’t work, there are several others to try. A person suffering from migraine should get medical help and should be persistent until a good treatment is found or until all possibilities have been exhausted.
Some people never seem to get relief from migraine, but many people have found drugs that at least reduce the frequency and/or intensity of their attacks. Many people have identified triggers that they can avoid, as well, thus reducing, or in some cases, eliminating migraine attacks.
Falsehood #3 Migraine is just a bad headache.
This falsehood is harmful for two reasons. First, it is harmful because it can keep people from having justifiable sympathy for migraine sufferers. Second, it is harmful because it can keep some migraine sufferers from realizing or believing that that is their problem.
Migraine is more than a bad headache. Those who have migraine headaches have compared them to knives being jabbed in their head or to having their head squeezed unmercifully in a vice. In addition to the headache, many migraine suffererers are so sensitive to light and/or sound that they are nearly or completely unable to function. Often they experience extreme nausea along with the pain.
Some migraine sufferers get aura symptoms before the pain. These include visual or auditory disturbances, tingling sensations, dizziness, and loss of vision or hearing.
It’s not just a bad headache. It’s a disease–a complicated and often debilitating disease.
Sometimes people have aura symtpoms without experiencing the headache pain, or at least without experiencing the headache pain during every episode. The latter description fits me. Various names have been used for such migraine conditions, but they are definitely migraine. I never realized that I had migraine disease, because I rarely had the headache. I am glad that a doctor finally realized it.
It is important to realize that you can have migraine disease without having headaches, because a person you know or you yourself could have migraine without even knowing it. It could keep such a person from discussing his or her symptoms with a doctor. If you have any migraine symptoms, it is important to tell your doctor about them–about all of them–so that you can be on the road to a diagnosis and then to treatment.
Learn More at Migraine Cast